A number of my sponsors and affiliates carry Wise Foods, so I decided to conduct an independent review of one of Wise Foods’ entrees, Creamy Chicken Pasta. I purchased a two-serving package at a retail store and followed the preparation directions exactly.
The first thing I noticed is that it took more than 12 minutes for the meal to fully rehydrate. It needed at least another 2-3 minutes before the curly pasta wasn’t overly al dente and the peas were soft, not chewy. The second thing I noticed is that the meal looks unappetizing and bland. The curly pasta and peas are in a white sauce with no discernible herbs present.
Flavor-wise, the entree wasn’t bad, but it was too bland for my taste. It contained some onion flavoring, but very little salt. I would definitely “doctor it up” if I were making it as an actual meal for my family.
An important fact to remember about all Wise Foods freeze-dried entrees is that they are vegetarian. Although the entree name is Creamy Chicken Pasta, it only contains chicken flavored TVP (textured vegetable protein) and very little, at that. TVP is a soy product, which many people eat without complaint, but others dislike.
The package claimed to serve two people but that wouldn’t fly in my house! It really is more of a large serving for a hungry person unless you had another dish or two to serve alongside it. Garlic bread, cooked veggies, and/or a salad would make a more complete meal for two people.
This experience reminded me of three important principles.
1. Be absolutely sure you like the taste and flavor of a freeze-dried entree before purchasing large amounts of it.
2. All freeze-dried entrees must be prepared with water that has reached the boiling point for best results. If you’re stocking up on the entrees, also stock up on water, at least two off-the-grid cooking methods, and plenty of fuel.
3. Freeze-dried entrees are what they are: a convenience food meant to be eaten on hiking/camping trips or in emergencies. Don’t expect all-natural ingredients, low-sodium, or a Whole Foods experience! You may not like all the additives in the ingredient list, but remember, these entrees generally have a 20+ year shelf life. It’s a trade-off.
On a scale of 1 to 5 stars, I give this particular entree only 2.5.
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